Asset tagging is the placing of an informational tag upon an inventoried piece of medical equipment or asset for ongoing asset management purposes. These purposes can vary based upon the specific need of the hospital, surgery center, or clinic and must be done in the right way to insure accuracy and usability of the data. The following will offer tips on the best way to implement an asset tagging program at a healthcare facility.
Conduct an Inventory In starting an asset tagging program, a healthcare facility should have and inventory done of the items being tagged while the process is taking place. You would not want to tag items and not capture and document their demographic data. This is essential in making sure tracking and management is done accurately and efficiently.
Use Good Tags Nothing is worse in implementing a plan then to have a simple mistake ruin the effort. When tagging medical equipment and other assets, using a tag that remains attached and isnt easily damaged is important so the capability of tracking and management isnt compromised. A tag must be able to withstand the cleaning, wear and tear that typically happens to medical equipment. A scenario where tags are on the floor, fading out, peeling away or shredded would make for a difficult process going forward.
Tag Location Placing an asset tag may seem to be a simple task, but if you dont place it in a spot that can be seen or accessed, you have a really hard time tracking the asset going forward. Also, if you apply the tag sloppily, it reflects poorly upon the quality of work and the facility for having tags randomly placed all over their equipment. A general designated location should be used if possible.
Keep Tagging – When an asset tagging process is started for a healthcare facility, it is in the best interest of the organization to keep the process going forward. For example, a medical equipment consultant like MERC will go to a facility and inventory the assets and place an asset tag on them. After this process is done, the process needs to be kept up with incoming equipment or documenting equipment that is being retired. If it is not tracked, then the accuracy is compromised.
Even though asset tagging is a simple task, there are significant ramifications if not done properly. Whether it is a simple tag, an RFID, or ultrasound identifier, the best way to manage your assets is to have them identified, accounted for, and tracked. MERC has performed this task at many sites and would be glad to help you find the solution your organization needs to implement or update your asset tagging program.